Tuesday 29 October 2013

Droidcon 2013

I went to Droidcon UK last week and my brain is still catching up… So many new ideas (and good ones too!).

I’ve put together several posts from Droidcon 2013 — this one gathers all the short notes that I took that didn’t deserve a full post of their own. They’re still worth checking out though!

A big thank you to the organisers and the contributors who made it all possible, especially Thibaut Rouffineau for whom this is his last Droidcon as organiser.

Cupboard SQLite access


  • easier design than ORMlite
  • works better with Android framework
  • doesn’t require a custom activity



  • send your APK to them, they instrument it and return it to you
  • or you can ask them to sign it themselves and manage the testers for you
  • results include one frame per second video of app UI, synced to logs and any exceptions

would you code blindfolded?

Gonçalo Silva, Novoda @gnorsilva

  • Pretotype — most cost effective prototype
    • e.g. using wooden blocks wrapped with paper to test mobile device ideas — use in real world situations — as used by Jeff Hawkins to test the PalmPilot
  • Light Table IDE — animate your code with live test results
  • estimations have a very limited lifetime
    • valid up to a month, maybe two
    • more of a gut feeling rather than a specific time
    • just to help you and guide you, doesn’t tell you when you’ll be complete
    • don’t adjust your estimates — look at the performance in retrospectives
    • make estimates based on difficulty, not time
    • anything bigger than a 4 should be broken down into smaller pieces

android script


productising a modern Android Device

Craig Arnush, Vertu

Vertu sell hand-made Android phones for £7,000+…

  • made a changes to Android to allow secret alert + new vertu key
    • secret alert makes the phone pretend to be dead (including the home button)
    • modified phone window manager
  • added own analytics (couldn’t rely on Google etc, as wanted security)
  • have an internal Vertu API
    • if interested, get in touch
  • tools: use OpenGrok

Tesco hudl

Novoda were showing off the hudl — a cheap Android tablet sold by Tesco.

Apparently Novoda were involved at a fairly deep level in the project, which explains why it’s actually pretty good!

demo camp

Each presenter had a couple of minutes to show off their app or service — the entries were judges by a panel of venture capitalists offering investment.

amateur football management

  • http://football-tracker.com
  • manage leagues & players

5-tiles keyboard


Download on Google Play

  • normal users reaching 40wpm — almost twice as a normal keyboard
  • speed freaks reaching 100wpm
  • works on small devices — ported to I’m Watch smartwatch: immediately useable



  • easy to create APIs
  • graphical UI to create basic database w/relations
  • also does push notifications
  • auto-generates code for iOS, Android, PHP, Python, etc



  • fashion facebook
  • retailer with fashion leads



  • got 2-5m just using wi-fi in business design centre (on Android)
  • iOS can’t use wi-fi positioning as Apple don’t provide wi-fi signal strength
  • 6 patents
  • support crowd-sourced mapping
  • €100/mth for access to SDK



  • in-app sponsorship by signing up to newsletter
  • automatically fetches user name and (verified) email address from device
  • requires read context, read local account + internet permissions

pogo from Activ8rlives


  • import healthcare data from devices that require USB
  • patients no longer have PCs to upload their data and don’t have the latest Android or iPhone devices to pick up Bluetooth LE or
  • instead have created a hardware box that converts USB into audio jack so can be picked up by an app on even legacy devices
  • indiegogo campaign



  • native Android emulation for app testing & presentation
  • integrates with laptop camera & fake location services
  • introducing pro version next month



  • assistive services for students, esp. disabled & dyslexic
    • also useful for those with English as a second language
  • OCR text into an editable format
  • can get word definitions, including easily confusable words
  • being sold to schools


  • remote android workspace for any device
  • provides easily securable data for enterprise
  • uses multi-user android servers
  • have iOS client + HTML5 client
  • can be run inside a data centre

NOBU won the demo camp top prize.


Saqib Ali said...

androidscript looks interesting. do you know if the vendor/developer is trustworthy?

Adam Cohen-Rose said...

He seemed like a nice guy when I met him at Droidcon. Have a chat to him in the google group for androidscript and make your own decision :-)